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Gateshead

Febbraio 2013
A Gateshead (città natìa del calciatore Paul Gascoigne) si trova la strada più cool del Regno Unito: la South Shore Road. Fatto bizzarro per una cittadina post-industriale con tanto di resti di miniere e cantieri navali, eppure...

di Jonathan Cameron

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The Quayside at sunset (with the Baltic Centre for the Arts, Sage Gateshead, and the Millennium and Tyne Bridges).
The Quayside at sunset (with the Baltic Centre for the Arts, Sage Gateshead, and the Millennium and Tyne Bridges).
The Angel of the North
The Angel of the North

Speaker: Justin Ratcliffe (Standard British accent)

In English the word “hip” means cool, trendy or “in.” According to a survey, South Shore Road in Gateshead is “the hippest street in Britain.” This is surprising because Gateshead does not have a very cool reputation. It is a post-industrial town near Newcastle in the north-east of England.

GAZZER

Gateshead’s most famous citizen is probably Paul Gascoigne, an ex-footballer with a drink problem. Gascoigne, or “Gazzer,” was a star of the 1990 World Cup, or “Italia Novanta.” He played for two English clubs, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur, and for Lazio in Italy.

THE TYNE

South Shore Road stands on the south bank of the Tyne, the river that divides Gateshead from Newcastle. Here there are two very “hip” buildings. The first is the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, which opened in 2002. It is located in a disused flour mill. The mill was empty, a symbol of the economic crisis. South Shore Road’s other “hip” building is Sage Gateshead, a concert hall. It is a piece of futuristic architecture designed by Norman Foster.

THE ANGEL OF THE NORTH

Norman Foster is a famous architect, while Antony Gormley is a famous sculptor. He created another important monument in Gateshead, the Angel of the North. This massive sculpture stands on the site of an old mining pit. The main industries in the north-east of England were mining and shipbuilding, but they are now dead.

GEORDIE SHORE

Today culture and the arts play an important role in the local economy, but the old image of beer, football and working-class life is still strong. People in this part of the world are called “Geordies,” and Geordie Shore is an internationally popular TV show. It is an English version of the controversial American show, Jersey Shore.


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Explains

Hip. “Cool”, alla moda. Come tante parole nello slang americano è stata coniata dai jazzisti di colore ma è poi stata adottata dai bianchi (che l’hanno trasformata in hippy). Da non confondere con il sostantivo (non-slang) hip che significa anca.

Flour mill. Mulino industriale. Non c’è molta logica nello spelling inglese e la parola flour che significa farina è un ottimo esempio: la sua pronuncia è uguale a quella di flower (fiore). Da notare che la sua pronuncia è diversa da quella di floor (pavimento) che a sua volta è uguale a quella di flaw (pecca, difetto).  

Bank. Un’altra parola trappola: lo spelling e la pronuncia sono uguali a quelli di bank (banca): la differenza è che qui significa riva. Spesso si dice anche banks (rive). Più avanti nell’articolo c’è la parola shore. Si usa bank per indicare la riva di un fiume e shore per quella del mare (cioè la spiaggia.)